Ringless (11 weeks to go)

I'm Engaged! Now what?

If you’ve read my previous blog post you’ll know that I got engaged while I was on holiday on the beautiful island of Saint Lucia. My boyfriend (now fiancé, yay!) had no idea what size ring I needed, and despite some (slightly obvious) attempts from my mum at trying to figure out what size to get, they didn’t manage to come to a solid conclusion.

Once he’d figured out which ring he wanted to buy, he asked for the advice of the jeweller at Beaverbrooks. He’d measured another of my rings, one that I wear on the middle finger of my right hand, so he knew it needed to be smaller than that. The jeweller suggested that he should buy a ring that is more likely to be on the big side than too small, as at least it would go onto my finger when he proposed rather than getting stuck above the knuckle.

So he got me a size L, and it slid on perfectly. It was warm in Saint Lucia (of course), so my fingers were on the bigger side at the time, but I could tell that it was just a little bit too big. For the remaining week of the holiday I wore the ring on a couple of evenings, but I had to be careful that it didn’t slip off. I knew we’d have to head back to the jewellers to get my finger measured (I had no idea what size my finger is either), and expected to have to go without my stunning, sparkly ring for a little while.

That’s why we went straight to the jewellers on the day we landed back in the UK. They were lovely, and measured my finger to find out the real size. It turns out I have extra skinny fingers. It was a toss up between an I and 1/2 (I didn’t know there were half sizes!) and a J. I and ½ is considered petite, while J is the smallest in the normal ring size category and is stocked in some stores. The jeweller noted that my hands were freezing (I have no idea why they were so cold!) and that the J fitted well in my cold state, so we decided that J would be the size we should go for.

Then came the shocking news. There were no size Js available in my ring anywhere in the country, and because it has diamonds on the band, it cannot be resized in the same way a solitaire diamond can be. It needs to be completely made from scratch from the supplier, and that’s going to take 12 weeks.

12 WEEKS!

I was shocked, but at the time I wasn’t upset. I figured, I’ve waited long enough to get engaged (I’ve been with Ryan for almost nine years), I can wait 12 more weeks to wear my ring.

But since I’ve been back at work I’ve begun to feel really quite sad about it. Obviously the most important thing is that we’re engaged, and I’m going to marry my best friend. But it’s strange how much the ring means, not necessarily just to me but to other people too.

It began when I went back to work after my holiday. My colleagues had learned the exciting news via Facebook, so when they spotted that I didn’t have a ring when I arrived in the office I could see the looks of hesitation on their faces when they said congratulations. One even said “Are congratulations still in order?” Of course, we joked about it, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t make me feel a little sad. Every girl dreams of getting engaged and showing off their ring when they see others for the first time as a bride-to-be, but I’m missing out on that.

Then I went to two wedding fairs, both with my engaged (and ring-bearing) friend. People promoting their wares at the stands ignored me after looking at my finger, chatting to Zara instead. Of course, I wanted her to chat with them, she is getting married too after all, and she was so brilliant, making sure that the vendors knew I was getting married too despite the lack of a ring. But when I was trying on dresses I feared that people would think I was just trying them on for fun (well, it was rather fun!). No one took me completely seriously and it hit me how much the ring means to people.

And on 2 May, I’m having an engagement party, which I absolutely cannot wait for. It was already planned before I’d even said yes, and despite being one month after Ryan popped the question I’ll be ringless. I’m going to get a fun party ring with a big plastic diamond on it for the event, but it’s just not the same as having the real thing.

All of my friends and family will be asking to see my ring and all I’ll have to show them is a photograph.

I’m trying my hardest not to let it get to me, but I’m admitting to you now that I’m struggling! It seems unfair that the jewellers stock rings that have the potential to take 12 weeks to arrive, leaving others who might be even more disappointed than I am without a ring for the first three months of their engagement.

I’m getting this off my chest and I’m going to move on once this blog post is out there but it feels good to share how I’m feeling. Have you experienced something similar? I’d love to hear from you 🙂

xxx Ashleigh xxx

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